Dhaka – Ruling Awami League and its affiliates have organized humanitarian events across Bangladesh to celebrate the 71st birth anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday.
Hasina, also chief of Bangladesh Awami League party, was born on September 28, 1947 was born at Tungipara of Gopalganj in the then Faridpur district.
Public hospitals and healthcare centres will remain open for two additional hours to serve the people who are in need of necessary health services, Health and Family Welfare ministry said.
The ruling party has organized distribution of rickshaw-vans and food among the poor and destitute at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the morniong. Special meals were also distributed to the inmates of Azimpur orphanage and students of different schools in the capital.
Educationalists, economists, writers, physicians and cultural personalities are among many others who have wished good health and long life of Hasina, who is now in the United States on an official trip. She is scheduled to return home on October 5.
Hasina has been serving Bangladesh as prime minister for the second consecutive term. She was also served the country as prime minister from 1996 to 2001.
She is the eldest among five children of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of independent Bangladesh and Begum Fazilatunnesa.
Her party arranged special prayers at mosques, temples, churches, pagodas to seek long and healthy life of the prime minister.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader called upon the party leaders, workers, supporters and well-wishers to celebrate the birthday by arranging different events including special prayers.
Dhaka South City unit of Awami League is schedule to hold a discussion on the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina at the Engineers’ Institution, Bangladesh in the afternoon.
Hasina spent much of her childhood in the small hamlet where she was born. She started her schooling there. In 1954 when Bangabandhu was elected a legislator the family relocated to Dhaka, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha.
She was admitted to what is now Sher-e-Bangla Girls’ School and College and later to Azimpur Girls’ High School from where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She was then admitted to what is now Badrunnessa Government Girls’ College.
During her Bachelor’s course she was elected vice-president of the students’ union of Eden Girls’ College. (Badrunnessa and Eden Girls’ College was one college in those days.) Later, she enrolled on her Masters’ program at the Bengali department of Dhaka University.
As a student, Hasina actively took part in the six-point movement of 1966 and the student movement of 1969 which saw the abdication of General Ayub Khan.
In 1968, with the blessings of her imprisoned father, Hasina was married to Nuclear Scientist Dr Wazed Miah.
During the Liberation War, Hasina and her family were interned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971 her first child, Sajib Wazed Joy was born. Her second child Saima Wazed Hossain was born on December 9, 1972.
After the assassination of her parents in 1975, Hasina and her family were offered political asylum in India, where she stayed till 1981. She was elected president of the Awami League in absentia in the same year.
Following her election in February 1981, she came back to the country on May 17, 1981 when she was greeted by a mammoth crowd that extended from the Airport to Farm Gate and Manik Miah Avenue where she addressed a public meeting.
In the 1986 parliamentary election, she was elected to parliament from three different constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990 she was elected Leader of the Opposition in the general elections that followed.
In 1996, 21 years after her father was assassinated, she led the Awami League to power and became the prime minister. In 2008, she led the Grand Alliance to a thumping victory with 90 percent of parliament seats.
On August 21, 2004, Hasina, who was then Leader of the Opposition for the second time, barely escaped an attempt on her life as grenades were threw at her public meeting on Bangabandhu Avenue. The attack killed at least 24 people.
Hasina was once again elected prime minister in the general elections of January 5, 2014.
Under her leadership, Bangladesh has become a role model for development, attaining steady economic growth, becoming self-reliant in staple food-grain and making significant progress in the fields of women empowerment, agriculture, education, health, rural infrastructure, communication, energy and power, trade and commerce, ICT and the SME sectors.
Her most recent role in providing humanitarian support to thousands of Rohingya drew accolade from global leaders, institutions and personalities.
Hasina has also been honoured with various honourary degrees, accolades and awards in recognition of her leadership excellence and intellectual flair.
These include: honorary Doctor of Laws by the Waseda University of Japan, honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Liberal Arts by University of Abertay Dundee, UK; honorary Degree of Desikottama by Visva-Bharati University of West Bengal, India, honorary Doctor of Laws by the Australian National University, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Bridgeport University, USA; honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Dhaka, Paul Haris Fellowship by the Rotary International, UNESCO’s Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in 1998, M K Gandhi Award in 1998, Mother Teresa Award in 1998 and 2006, Pearl S. Buck Award by Randolph Macon Women’s College of USA in 1999, CERES Medal in 1999, UN Award for MDG achievement (child mortality) in 2010, Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in 2009, South-South Award in 2011, UN Award for MDG Achievement in 2013, Rotary Peace Prize in 2013, Tree of Peace in 2014, ICT Sustainable Development Award in 2015, Champions of the Earth in 2015, Agent of Change Award in 2016 and Planet 50-50 Champion in 2016, according to BSS.